Promoting Contemporary Art Jewelry since 2009

Fake News! … Fake News, Fake News, Fake News… Fake News?!?!!!

We could be wondering were does this crazy idea come from and how fast it spreads as a virus around the world. With a US president turning the idea of fake news mainstream, we start to see it in France. As this kind of language becomes normalized, political mouths around the world are hoping to follow Trump’s path to electoral victory.

It is sounding like every one and everything is an enemy of something else. Since the last economic world crisis, banks became the enemy of the populations, the media are the nemesis of politics, and we, the citizens start to be perceived as enemy of the politics. Public display of organization and global connection as a way to have a voice and to protect human rights is a perceived threat to political parties and government.

When you add to all this together, the international tension and the terrorist apprehension grows. When all the pieces of this complex world are considered it doesn’t seem so strange, but most people will feel at least unease.

You are probably wondering – what is his point and the link with art jewelry? I will come to this really shortly but first I had to give you more detail about the Internet, which I think have a special importance in all this.

I was born at the end of the 80’s and my generation was one of the first to grow up using Internet. Now it seems to be global, my grandmother uses it and practically all generations are now connected with it. This is where most of the people are looking for information, shop and connect with others.

The Internet is made to make you feel confortable and so you start trusting it more than anything else. As a creation of science we have faith in it. This makes me wonder if during history, humans have always been divided because of an evolution of belief.

At the beginning humans probably didn’t have time to think about anything else than survival, so they probably only believed in what assisted them to survive (the nature itself and the animals they were feeding off). With the evolution of society and better ways to provide food and shelter the idea of Gods arose. People divided into groups- those who believe in several gods or in only one. Then the believers of the “One God” theory divided and people needed to decide which God they believed to be the only one. Some people started to use the idea of “their God” to provide them with power and put them in the top of the society and create hierarchy.

When Science arrived and started to ask question about all beliefs and to reveal some incoherencies in the « Texts » populations started to use it to fight against the old powers, Science then became a new God. The massacre of the 2 world wars started to make population have doubt about Science as it can bring the best as the worst in our society.

Then we turn to money and work as the new Gods and as the keepers of peace. And, finally the most recent revolution came when the Internet was born and found more power.

All this division created the rhizome of Human Culture. Sadly, instead of thinking all the diverse beliefs as new possibilities of enrichment of an universal Culture, we start considering it as a new enemy. We have to always remember that every culture is made of interaction between people and so we are influence by lot of different culture without even thinking about it. We have to realize that with the climate change and the expansion of the Humankind we can’t afford to divide because we will only have less and less space to live together.

Still Far from Art Jewelry? No, don’t worry I am coming to it.

The evolutions of these 2 ideas of Fake News and Belief in the internet bring me to questioned if our field also was impacted by misconception or were we lucky to be there at a time when social media was bringing a greater visibility.

I actually think both proposition are true.

On one hand, the Internet provided our field a platform to have a voice, and started to build an online audience for art jewelry. It brought a wider audience to look at what was happening in the field and now most galleries and artists have at least a website or even some official pages in social media platform. We can now see every year, new school opening workshop, the opening of new galleries, more and more participation in jewelry week around the world, more and more Contemporary Art gallery showing art jewelry in their selection of artists and even Museums of several fields starting to host exhibitions.

We can see an emulation being created around the art jewelry field and this is probably a lot due to the importance of the visibility provided by the Internet and by the society of image this platform seems to be enhancing. But on the other hand, I see more and more people that are good designer but are not thinking artistic who start calling their work Art Jewelry or Contemporary Jewelry because they saw their is an audience for it. I can understand this because when I began to study Art Jewelry at Strasbourg’s Art School (Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin – HEAR), it was quite difficult to understand how a piece of jewelry could transmit a message. France was quite late to develop a field for art jewelry and it was really difficult to find information about it. So first, I though it was only a question of design but when I attended Munich Jewelry Week- AKA Schmuck, I finally understood the meaning an intention of Contemporary Jewelry. Then, when I worked as assistant to teachers of the jewelry workshop, I realized that the students vision about the field was quite different and determined by their history and past experiences. Someone who studied first traditional Jewelry and learned the techniques of casting, stone-setting, etc. as a foundation to making objects will have a dramatically different approach than someone who first studied contemporary jewelry. Based on specific training and education, I see three possible approaches to making contemporary jewellery- Traditional/technical, Contemporary/aesthetic and Fine art/conceptual.

We have to be careful to always try to show that our goal isn’t only proposing a design never seen before but we are mostly focusing on a story we want to express through this art form. We need to share our thoughts about the world around us and what our brain is mostly focused on. So we should stop using the terms of Contemporary Jewelry and mainly use Art Jewelry to be able to create a clear message. Cause all pieces made right now by a jeweler could be consider as Contemporary Jewelry in the definition of the terms but can also be Fantasy Jewelry, Fine Jewelry, High Jewelry or Art Jewelry so at the end it doesn’t mean anything.

In order not to be considered as a bold move without consistency, we should all focus on providing- in all our platforms- some explanations, some artistic texts to enhance the artistic value of our work. We all need to take care of this at our own level at least if we want to keep on creating an audience for our field and to create a new one in the Internet. We have to start considering the Internet as a new way to connect globally with all generations including the new ones, as it seems that it will only get more and more power to connect people, and maybe provide enough visibility and content to make our field recognize world wide as an artistic field in essence.

A great example for me at the moment is the blog created by Carina Shoshtary. Carina is writing a lot of posts about different aspect of Art Jewelry, she can either speak of the work of others artists, her own way to think about jewelry, the way some people or herself deal with the display of pieces for an exhibition, but she is also making interview and special post for exchanges she is doing with other artists… The list could be long and I am only giving you here a non-exhaustive list of subject Carina is speaking about. I really think this kind of blog is an enrichment for the field of Art Jewelry and the work done by Carina Shoshtary isn’t only done for her but for all of us.

To be honest, I can only guess how much time Carina is spending on the blog. Don’t worry with this article I don’t want to tell you we should all be doing a blog such as this one, but at least find some way to express our artist statement in all our social platforms. Cause if we want there to be a day when people will be able to analyze our field from a more theoretical point of view (as it’s been done since ages for Contemporary Art) we need to provide them with spiritual food to fuel their research.

Finally, to finish this travel from political to the Internet, I wanted to introduce an upcoming project, which sounds really interesting. Not Only Decoration (NOD – ) is a platform created by Laura Jack & Stephie Morawetz (2 students of the Trier University for Applied Art – Idar Oberstein) as part of their final project for their Diploma. NOD is meant to be a way to give a visibility to jewelers working on project which focus on social and environmental issues.

“We are collective intelligence, a not for profit organization of individuals and we utilize our skills as jewelers, artists and makers to create meaningful art and design projects. What we make is about issues that seem to be falling through the cracks of society because we have voices and we know how to use them. We are makers from all over the world that creates works that are not only decoration and there is always room for more. Join NOD to raise awareness of ethical issues through the jewelry field and beyond.”

NOD will be fully operational in July so it is a good time to apply for your work.

So, if like me writing is not your forte and you don’t think you would be able to do a blog as Carina Shoshtary, maybe participating to such a platform as NOD can be an easier and faster way to start to make your voice heard. Anyway, now it is time to express ourselves, we fought for ages to have such a liberty of expression; we don’t need now to go back there…


About the author

Sébastien Carré | Sébastien Carré is a jewelry artist based in France. After studying five years at HEAR, the Art school of Strasbourg in France, he decides to stay there to keep on working on his organic jewelries. Throughout many exhibits he tries to wake up corporeality and the senses of the spectators and exhibit worldwide in group exhibitions and solo shows. Sébastien was assistant of the teachers of the jewelry workshop of HEAR Strasbourg between 2015 and 2017. He won several awards in France and in internationals competitions.

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